Thank You Note

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."- Colossians 3:17

Early on in our marriage the Lord used Joanie to teach me a life-changing lesson on the importance of being thankful. On one particular birthday I raked in a wonderful array of gifts, many more in quantity and much better in quality then I could remember receiving at any other time as an adult. A few days after my birthday celebration Joanie asked the million dollar question of when I was planning on sending thank you cards to the people who gave me gifts. My response will tell you all you need to know about how low my gratitude meter was at. I said something to the effect, "I already thanked them when they gave me the gifts." Well, Joanie was not having any of that and informed me that the proper thing to do was to send a heartfelt note (which I did).

One of the things I have noticed about our culture, world, and flesh nature is that we tend to have a mindset that we are "OWED" things. We are owed this day of life, we are owed our salary, we are owed people appreciating our efforts, we are owed what belongs to us, we are owed privacy, we are owed the benefit of the doubt, and we are owed what people have borrowed from us. The more we operate out of this selfish and self-centered standard we allow our minds to even go to the unhealthy place of believing that God owes us things. It is this attitude that creates in us a hardened heart and insatiable appetite. Romans 1:21 paints the bleak picture of one who lives in the blindness of pride and the darkness of sin, "For although they knew God, they neither glorified His as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened."

There is a great inner-working power that takes place when we allow a thankful heart to develop within us a tender heart. The more we exhibit an attitude of thankfulness the more in-tune we are with God's Spirit, the better we can hear God's voice, the less likely we will become bitter when walking through a trial, and the quicker we are to forgive others and show compassion. Whether it is from the grace the Lord has given, the gift of the day, the goodness that others have bestowed upon us, or the acts of faith that guide us, thanksgiving is to be an overarching and overflowing theme in the life of a follower of Jesus!

I Thessalonians 5:16-18- "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 4:6- "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

Hebrews 12:28- "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe."

Psalm 100:4- "Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His Name."

Let us learn to approach each day with thanksgiving; to approach each challenge and difficult path with thanksgiving; to approach each blessing received with thanksgiving; and to approach our communion with God (i.e.- times in the Word, prayer, and worship) with thanksgiving. I am convinced that a thankful heart opens wide the possibility for God to enter in, work and fill beyond measure. Thanksgiving prepares our hearts to receive the truth and promise of God's Word. Thanksgiving transforms the manner by which we pray and the attitude by which we receive God's answer. Thanksgiving aides us in staying fixed on the Lord during times of trials. Thanksgiving develops within us a hope in the miraculous, the impossible, and the eternal that is not limited by the present moment or the physical dimensions we live in. Thank you Lord that our thanksgiving reaches your throne and that through it you are filling our hearts, answering our needs, and releasing your perfect blessings!

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